Taxi driver suspended over repeated maintenance failures

Councillors agreed to address issues with the ongoing maintenance of his cab by demanding it be tested every four months a year ago.

South Ayrshire Taxi driver suspended by council over repeated maintenance failures Georgeclerk

A councillor said he “wouldn’t want his family in a taxi” maintained by an Ayr taxi driver who was unanimously suspended for repeated vehicle failures.

Balkar Singh appeared before the South Ayrshire Licensing Panel last week after a series of issues with his taxi.

The panel heard how Mr Singh had avoided a suspension a year ago when councillors agreed to address issues with the ongoing maintenance of his cab by demanding it be tested every four months.

The taxi once again failed an inspection in April this year and Mr Singh was again cited to appear before the panel.

The matter was continued to allow Mr Singh to attend. However, no further action was taken before his vehicle failed its MOT in July, where it presented with an exhaust mounting defect, broken spring coil and was given an advisory that a tyre was worn close to the legal limit.

While it passed a subsequent MOT, it still had the tyre condition advisory.

Officers asked the panel to consider suspending Mr Singh as no longer being a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a taxi licence and that granting a licence would create ‘undue public nuisance or threat to public order or safety’.

SAC Fleet Inspector Graeme Beattie said that the fact that the car had failed four out of its last five MOTs indicated that ‘it appears a minimum is getting done’ to get through tests.

He added: “In my opinion it is very, very poor upkeep of the car. It appears there is very little in the way of a maintenance regime in place to catch these before the MOT.”

Mr Singh made his case to the panel, claiming that he had been getting his taxi checked every month and everything had been ‘fine’ other than the one fault.

He added that the garage said that the broken spring could happen to a car whether it was old or new and suggested it could have happened as he was transporting seven passengers with several suitcases.

This, he said, combined driving in heavy rain at night on a “bad road with a very high speed bump” could have led to the damage.

Councillor Iain Cavana said: “I am a wee bit worried. The last time the gentleman was in front of us, we gave him, shall we say, a second chance by keeping it to four monthly checks.

“I am disappointed to see four out of five (fails). I don’t know who does your maintenance.”

He pointed out that Mr Singh should have made sure the vehicle was alright before it went for an MOT.

“I make sure mine is alright and it isn’t my livelihood.”

Councillor Hugh Hunter called for Mr Singh’s immediate suspension.

He said: “I’ve heard enough and I’ve read enough about the history of this and I do not believe Mr Singh is a fit and proper person to hold a licence, so I would move suspension of the license.

“I just think you run out of patience eventually. There have been plenty of opportunities. Four fails in five tests is completely unacceptable. I wouldn’t want any of my family to be in a taxi  maintained by Mr Singh.”

The panel agreed unanimously to suspend Mr Singh’s licence.

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